Here’s the opening from a post by Calev Myers at the Times of Israel:
Anas Awwad, a 26 year old Palestinian Authority resident, was recently sentenced to one year in prison by a Palestinian court in Nablus. What was Awwad’s heinous crime? He dared to upload a post to his facebook page displaying a photo of Mahmoud Abbas kicking a soccer ball, with the caption, “Real Madrid’s New Striker”. The Palestinian court found Awwad guilty of breaking a Jordanian law, which forbids “cursing the king”.
The Palestinians aren’t the only ones who should be concerned about this denial of Awwad’s freedom of speech regarding “King Abbas”. We should all be alarmed. We should consider the fact that a serious punishment was just imposed upon an innocent man; a man who was born, educated, worked and lived within the borders of Israel, merely tens of kilometers from Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem.
And I particularly liked this bit:
The deafening silence surrounding the sentencing of Awwad by MKs Ahmad Tibi and Hanin Zoabi, who failed to publicly condemn this action, was particularly interesting in light of their claim to be proponents of freedom of speech. In contrast, just five days after the pronouncement of his judgment, these same MKs vociferously attacked the State of Israel for placing a gag order on the Ben Zygier, regarding an Israeli who carried out serious crimes against the security of our nation.
Tibi, Zoabi and their cohorts never miss an opportunity to criticize Israel’s actions and challenge the legitimacy of the State. They did, however, miss an excellent opportunity to establish their own legitimacy as genuine defenders of the Palestinian people, by not issuing a stern condemnation of the infringement upon Awwad’s freedom of speech.
Freedom of speech. Important topic. Palestinians. Popular topic. This should be right up the Guardian’s street, shouldn’t it? Well, what do you know:
Yes. So far as the Guardian is concerned, Awwad does not exist. Now, why might that be?
Read the whole thing here.
[Thanks to Susan for the spot.]